What makes Sheboygan so special

Where is Sheboygan?

The City of Sheboygan rests on the Lake Michigan Shores about half way along the Wisconsin’s eastern seaboard on Interstate I43. Sheboygan is just 55 miles north of Milwaukee, 60 miles south of Green Bay, 110 miles northeast of Madison, 140 miles north of Chicago and 340 miles from Minneapolis.

What is Sheboygan known for?

Bratwurst Capital of the World

In 1970, Sheboygan battled Bucyrus, Ohio for the title of Bratwurst Capital of the World. After a grueling duel, the Sheboygan Press reported on August 14, 1970, that Judge John Bolgert had rendered an official decision bestowing the title upon Sheboygan and barring all other claimers from using it.

The landmark decision noted “…that based upon the findings of fact herein above stated that the citizens of Sheboygan through their sausage makers, bakers and backyard chefs have established their right to the herein litigated title not only by virtue of claim but also by virtue of performance.” Judge Bolgert concluded, “It is the judgment of this court that Sheboygan is and of right ought to be Bratwurst Capital of the World.” …and so it is.

In Sheboygan, we take our brats seriously.

First, we fry them on a grill. And no, we absolutely do not grill brats on a grill; wefry them–period. Many a visitor and transplant to Sheboygan has been confused by the well-known phrase, “fry brats.” But know for certain that we are not utilizing the word “fry” incorrectly, nor are we spelling it incorrectly when we write, “I fryed brats,” in reference to how one spent a weekend. That is just simply how it is done in Sheboygan. We fry brats, and having fryed them to perfection, we dress them on a round (not oblong) Sheboygan hard roll and sprinkle with onion and brown mustard. There you have it! The Sheboygan brat, fryed and dressed, that earned the title Bratwurst Capital of the World.

Malibu of the Midwest

Resting on the shores of Lake Michigan, the city of Sheboygan has been affectionately dubbed the Malibu of the Midwest by the surf crowd. Surfing isn’t just a saltwater sport, or a warm-weather one either. Sheboygan has been a surf destination for over 50 years and is now known by many as the Freshwater Surf Capital of the World. Because of its location and geography, it has some of the best waves on the Great Lakes. You can surf all year, but prime time is winter. Being a lake surfer is an adventure; getting up at dawn to drive hours to search out spots and camping out to wait for the best surf. We are grateful to have pristine beaches and surf breaks that would make you think you’re at the ocean!

The Four C's of Sheboygan

Chairs: In the late 1800s, with sawmills on the river, an abundance of timber and large ship yards, Sheboygan saw the beginnings of the furniture industry. Between 1865 and 1980 Sheboygan was home to over 12 furniture companies which lead to the name “Chair City.”

Cheese: The art of cheese making was brought to Sheboygan by New England settlers. The dairy industry grew out of agricultural societies and the stocking of livestock. Some of the biggest names in the cheese industry are here in Sheboygan County.

Churches: They soon came to dominate the early skyline of Sheboygan. They were the first ethnic centers of Sheboygan and from the beginning reflected the tremendous diversity that was to become Sheboygan. Today several of the early churches remain and several date before the start of the American Civil War.

Children: Kids were and are plentiful in Sheboygan County according to census records. Generally speaking, a society is not willing to have a lot of children unless the region is safe, secure, and able to feed them. Sheboygan has been a pleasant place to raise children, get an education, earn a living, and enjoy life for many years. It prides itself on good schools. At one time we actually had a school that taught everybody in German because of the number of German speaking immigrants who came to Sheboygan during the period from 1860 to 1914.

What is a brat (and where can I get one)?

A bratwurst (or “brat”) is a sausage usually composed of veal, pork or beef. The name is derived from Old High German Brätwurst, from brät-, which is finely chopped meat and Wurst, or sausage. Bratwurst is usually grilled or fried, and sometimes (or always) cooked in broth or beer. It is “the meat that made Sheboygan famous.”

View our list of brat-loving restaurants here!

Learn to speak Sheboyganese

It has been said that here in Sheboygan, WI, we have our own accent – not quite the Yooper accent, but definitely a spin-off of lazy German. We may have our own versions and words for things, but we know what they mean and that’s what matters. So we want to prepare you for your trip to Sheboygan, so that when you hear “dose” or “brat,” you know it doesn’t mean “multiple deer” or “a naughty child.”

(920) 335-0060
Toll-Free: (844) 952-0200

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826 S. 8th Street
Tuesday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Closed Sunday/Monday
Self-serve lobby open daily: 7 AM - 11 PM